Having worked in the hospital with cancer patients for many years, I encouraged them, and their family members, to find camaraderie with others who were walking the cancer path. Some attended support groups and said it was helpful, and some did not.
When I went through cancer treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, I sometimes felt lost and alone. Sure I had friends and family to help, but they hadn’t felt the struggles I was going through. In other words, they could sympathize but not empathize. Since I was in my thirties, I wanted to talk to others who were on the cancer journey that were my age. There was a breast cancer support group offered for my age-range, but not for my diagnosis. I decided to attend. Even though we weren’t dealing with the same diagnosis, I still felt relief in listening to women discuss struggles they had with chemotherapy and treatment. We bonded discussing our trials, and sometimes even laughed. It made me feel better. I wasn’t in this alone. “It’s one thing knowing you have people cheering you on, yet another to know they’ve walked in your footsteps.” Quote from Both Sides of the Bedside by Christine Magnus Moore